Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Harmony, or not

I ran into an old friend last week. Well, I didn't exactly run into her--she was singing in the choir that I was playing flute with. It was great to see her again, and it was easy to forget the unpleasantness which had separated us.

We used to play in the same ensemble, but there was a big blow-up (over the sheet music, more or less) and we went our separate ways. I found it quite unpleasant and painful.

This wasn't the first time this happened in a group I was a member of. A few years ago, I sang in a women's choir that imploded when the director quit. It's complicated, but ironic. This was a group always talking and singing about the harmony among women. The director started another group, inviting only a select few to join her. I was one of them, not for my singing ability, but probably for my desktop publishing, web site, and PR skills. Eventually, there was another little explosion, and I was asked to leave. Again, it is complicated, and I am sure she feels justified.

It's sad though. I have run across many silly and not-so-silly problems in amateur groups, and in and among more professional music organizations. You'd think music would have charms to soothe the savage musicians.

I play in three groups at the moment, and happy to say that they are all congenial groups in which people really seem to care about each other, and about the music. I can't tell you how happy I am about that!

The flute playing, by the way, went fine in the pre-preformance rehearsal, but I felt a little rushed during the actual performance. I said something to the director about it, thinking it was just nerves, and he said he speeded it up because we were running late. Well, at least it wasn't me. Anyway, I got a lot of nice comments, though I think the pre-performance was better than the one people actually heard.


Marisa said...

Why can't everyone get along? Guess folks have differences of opinion and someone steps intentionally (or not) on someone's toes.

IMHO I think rehearsals before the actual performance are generally better. Maybe folks are just fresher and not stressed.

Melissa said...

I find that the larger the group, the better everyone gets along. We have some issues in my orchestra, but those have mostly blown over.

And yea, I always do better in pre-game warm up. Annoys me to no end.

CelloGeek said...

It seems like we all have stories about how the groups we've been in would have been much better if it weren't for the people!

cellodonna said...

The thing that irks me is when valuable rehearsal time gets wasted on bickering.

Maricello said...

I prefer smaller, democratic groups (4-6 people), in which everyone takes part in music and performance decisions, especially me. :-)

Hmmm, maybe I'm part of the problem.

Glad to hear others do better in rehearsals too.